PHOENIX – The following is a press release from the Phoenix Mercury:
Phoenix Mercury General Manager Ann Meyers Drysdale today announced the acquisition of Chicago Sky forward Candice Dupree in a three-team deal that sent guards Cappie Pondexter and Kelly Mazzante to New York. Chicago acquires Shameka Christon and Cathrine Kraayeveld from New York to complete the trade.
“We’re ecstatic to be adding Candice Dupree to our already-stellar core,” said Meyers Drysdale. “Of course, we had to make a sacrifice in order to acquire a player of Candice’s caliber. She brings a combination of size, strength and athleticism that few possess and will add another potent weapon to our starting lineup.”
“We wish Cappie and Kelly both the best of luck in their continuing careers. Both have been tremendous contributors for this organization the past few years and we thank them for their efforts and service.”
In 2009, Dupree led the Sky and ranked 11th in the WNBA in scoring (15.7 ppg). She ranked second in the league in total rebounds (268) while recording career highs in rebounding (7.9 rpg), three-point field goal percentage (.387) and free throw percentage (.785). The 6-2 forward tallied nine double-doubles, third-most in the league. She was named to the third All-Star game of her career (2009, 2007, 2006) and was named a starter for the Eastern Conference.
Most recently, Dupree spent the 2009-10 offseason playing professionally overseas for Good Angels Kosice in Slovakia. She ranked first in all of Euroleague competition in rebounding (11.0) and third in scoring (18.9) while shooting 49.6 percent from the field in 39.1 minutes per game. She was named to the Euroleague Women All-Star Game, where she recorded 11 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds in 23 minutes as a starter alongside new teammate Diana Taurasi.
“Candice has proven herself to be one of the most dominant post players in the world,” said Taurasi of her new teammate. “She’s an aggressive defender and a great rebounder, and adding her to our roster gives us a great chance at defending our title in 2010.”
Dupree owns career averages of 15.6 points and 7.3 rebounds in her four WNBA seasons with Chicago. She has started every game for the Sky in three of the last four seasons, and has missed just one game in her career (2007). The Tampa, Fla. native was originally drafted by the Sky with the sixth overall pick in the 2006 WNBA Draft.
Pondexter has played all four of her WNBA seasons with the Mercury after being selected by Phoenix with the second overall pick in the 2006 WNBA Draft. The Rutgers product owns career averages of 23.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 129 career games (all starts). She is a three-time All-Star and was named the 2007 WNBA Finals MVP.
Mazzante spent the last three of her six WNBA seasons with the Mercury and established averages of 4.9 points and 1.6 rebounds in 99 games (seven starts) for the Phoenix.
The Phoenix Mercury has been providing affordable and entertaining basketball in the Valley for 13 seasons. The two-time WNBA Championship team will begin its title defense on May 15 at US Airways Center against the Los Angeles Sparks with tip off set for 11 a.m. Lower-level tickets are available for as little as $10 a game for the 18-game season and can be purchased on phoenixmercury.com or by calling 602-252-WNBA.